Must See Places in Vancouver

Vancouver isn’t your typical city-break type of a city. The city itself is quite small and you can walk from one end of downtown core to the other in less than two hours. As a result, Vancouver isn’t known for many touristy things to do you’d see in other cities, such as New York.

That being said, Vancouver provides you with different options and ways of spending time, with focus on outdoor activities. You can take a peek at my favourite beginner friendly hike near Vancouver here, and some great camping spots here.

When planning your trip to Vancouver, please be mindful that several activities listed online as Vancouver, aren’t actually in Vancouver, but in fact are in the neighboring towns which can be anywhere from 1 to 3-hour drive away. These towns are Squamish, Whistler, Langley, Abbotsford & Chilliwack.

Vancouver has few relatively close suburbs, which are often mentioned as “being in Vancouver” to try & entice tourists to visit. These are Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, Delta, Maple Ridge, Port Moody, Coquitlam, and Pitt Meadows (otherwise known as Meadowtown). All of these are roughly between 30 minutes –1h15m drive from Vancouver, with Burnaby & Richmond being the closest. [Vancouver International Airport is located in Richmond].

Below, you will find a list of top spots (in my opinion) for a fun time in Vancouver, and they are not your typical touristy type of activities:


Science World is one of the most known landmarks in Vancouver. When looking online, you might have noticed a building that looks like a golf ball often lit up in the evenings. That’s the home of Science World. It mainly caters to children science activities; however, you can make a great afternoon out of it.

There are number of experiments for you to try and a lot of interesting information available around every corner. If you are lucky, you might just be able to visit during one of their cocktail evenings (for adults of course).

Science World


When people hear the word island, they immediately think you need to take a ferry and it will be a day trip. That’s not correct. Well, you can take a ferry (a boat-taxi) to get to Granville Island which is a super fun experience; however, Granville Island is only 10 minutes from downtown.

Granville Island is a small area in Vancouver where you will find the Granville Island Market – large market offering fresh produce – fruit, vegetables, butcher’s block, cheese, bakers to name a few, as well as a great selection of restaurants in the food court. The market is PACKED every single day, so you must get there at 7.30/8.00am to be able to somewhat enjoy it in peace.

Tip: Lee’s Doughnuts are the best in town & worth lining up for!

While the market is the main attraction on the island, there are number of beautiful eclectic art galleries and craftsmen workshops across the island, you can grab a coffee and walk from door to door admiring their work, while listening to the buskers.


Anyone who has previously been to Vancouver will tell you that the best way to see it, is on a bicycle. And they’re right. The Piece de resistance of Cycling in Vancouver is the Stanley Park Seawall. There’s no comparison.

You have most likely read about the seawall in a few different publications, and there’s a reason. If you rent a bicycle and cycle along the entire seawall, you will have number of opportunities to stop and check out other places within the park such as: the 9 o’clock gun, totem poles, Vancouver Aquarium, lighthouse, rose garden, Lion’s Gate Bridge, Prospect Point, The Tea House and not to mention the scenery along the coast, where you see as far as North and West Vancouver.

Stanley Park Seawall


Nestled in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood is Queen Elizabeth Park. It’s a beautifully landscaped park, which lays slightly above the city level, offering a nice skyline view of downtown on a nice day.

The park has a lot of Asian influenced architecture, a beautiful gourmet restaurant called “Seasons in the Park” with panoramic views and a Bloedel Conservatory – a botanical garden situated under a glass dome.

The park also offers several activities, such as basketball, soccer, tennis courts and it’s a great spot in the city to watch the sunset.

Bloedel Conservatory


Main Street in Vancouver is a hipster area of the city. Here you will find number of awesome breweries, hidden speakeasy bars, great restaurants, and a LOT of one-of-a-kind stores.

I love to browse through the stores on a Sunday morning with a coffee in hand. If you are a lover of thrift stores, unique finds, and second-hand goods –this is the place to be. You can shop till you drop across number of places, my favourite being the record stores and the handmade stationery stores, as well as gourmet coffee shops.


If you want a real taste of what Vancouverites do on weekends, then Grouse Mountain is a great place to check out.

If you are in a good physical shape, you can try your hand on Grouse Grind –it’s a 2.5km hike, which in theory isn’t far at all, however the hike is a very steep incline of stairs. When I tell you I almost passed out at 1km mark, I am not even lying. You can check out my article, how to get yourself ready for Grouse Grind here.

The second way you can get to the Top of Grouse Mountain if you don’t want to hike, is the gondola. In a matter of minutes, you’re up there enjoying the views. You will never forget your first Vancouver Mountain View and a Grind is a good one.

Grouse Grind

Once you’re at the top, there is a restaurant in which you can enjoy food & beverages with a view, as well as a bear enclosure, where you can see two resident bears in action (in the summer months, otherwise they’ll be hibernating).

The collection of above places will serve you a good experience of what Vancouver is really all about and you will get to mix with number of locals in the process.

New posts are published every Thursday at 6.15pm PST/9.15pm EST. Make sure you follow my Instagram to stay up to date on new posts & travel tips.

Enjoyed this article? Share it with others, using image below.

must see places in vancouver

Be sure to join my mailing list below for future posts & giveaways!

Success! You're on the list.

2 responses to “Must See Places in Vancouver”

  1. Love this list of sights to see in the Vancouver area! I haven’t spent much time there at all since moving to Vancouver Island, and I will save some of these ideas for my next visit 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad. Vancouver really is a vibe 💖 Having said that Vancouver Island has some of the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s